Hops production in Ohio has increased in recent years as the craft beer industry has rapidly expanded throughout the state. According to the Ohio Craft Beer Association, there are 278 craft breweries in Ohio, with 65 more in the planning stages, and Ohio is ranked 5th in the nation in craft beer production. Hops, a climbing plant, is a key ingredient in beer brewing, and many breweries are interested in including locally grown ingredients in their products.
While there is opportunity for hops production in Ohio, there is a lot to learn before getting started. Ohio State University Extension is offering two upcoming programs on hops production.
On July 19, OSU hops specialist Brad Bergefurd will give a talk on backyard hops production, focusing on growing hops in home gardens. This program is free and will be from 6 to 8 p..m. at the east end of the Farm Science Review, where a demonstration hops garden is located. Participants should bring a lawn chair to this program and register by contacting Mary Griffith: 740-852-0975 or [email protected].
On July 24, OSU will host a full day program focused on commercial hops production. This program will cover topics such as marketing hops, labor and expenses, variety selection, pest control, packaging requirements, and other topics. The program begins at the Ayars Family Farm in Mechanicsburg, and the afternoon session will take place down the road at the Zachrich Hop Yard, where participants can see a commercial hops yard and a mechanical hops harvester demonstration. A panel of hops farmers and OSU specialists will talk about their farms and answer questions. This program is $25 and includes lunch. To register for this program, contact Amanda Douridas: 937-484-1526 or [email protected].